In what sounds like it's becoming a disturbing trend in the pageant world (as if there weren't already too many creepy things in that culture, cough, Toddlers & Tiaras, cough), a 19-year-old Mexican beauty queen, Cynthia de la Vega, has been stripped of her title as runner-up for Nuestra Belleza Mexico, a position that usually goes on to compete in the Miss World competition. The reason? She gained SIX POUNDS. Yup. She told Good Morning America her story, explaining that she was "sad and very deceived" when pageant officials claimed that her very slight weight gain "showed lack of discipline" and said that she "failed to behave like a beauty queen." Ugh, my heart just aches for this poor young woman.
The Nuestra Belleza people deny that weight had to do with her dismissal, but their rationale is that "the training of a beauty queen is equivalent to the training of an athlete" and keeping someone on board who isn't up to par with their "training" is a risk.
I've heard similar arguments before, such as in the case of the Miss San Antonio beauty queen in Texas who was booted for "eating tacos." Excuse me while I roll my eyes.
What it seems like these pageant officials don't realize is that a woman's weight can fluctuate by as much as several pounds over the span of a DAY! And most women go through ups and downs, depending on where we are in our menstrual cycle. Even drinking water can contribute to false weight gain! Or how about muscle building, which can also increase your weight, as muscle weighs more than fat?
De la Vega actually explained to CNN that she gained weight as the stressful Miss World competition neared. Stress IS a completely legitimate reason to put on a couple of pounds. Even if you're working out and eating healthy, a constant cascade of stress hormones has a way of slowing your metabolism, taxing your adrenal glands, possibly messing with your thyroid. Depending on how your body handles stress, it can become impossible NOT to gain. I'm sure what has happened to her isn't doing wonders for her stress relief, either!
Sure, the world of beauty pageants is very different from the real world, but I still think beauty queens should be expected to be "normal" physiologically!
But sadly, what happened here is a sad example of how most of us obsess over the perhaps fleeting existence of a couple of pounds, which in the scheme of things is nothing. (It's not like what happened here was a slippery slope to obesity!) Or how we point the finger at someone who has gained a few pounds and label them "undisciplined" (aka LAZY). Sometimes gaining a few pounds is out of a woman's control. Ten pounds or less especially is nothing to get in a tizzy about. It shouldn't even be acceptable to punish a beauty queen for it. De la Vega's story only proves that when it comes to a woman's weight, beauty pageants and the rest of society need to get real.
What do you think about what happened to this beauty queen?
image via CNN